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Old 06-03-2008, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,754,904 times
Reputation: 2841

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Just re-read the post I made yesterday. Hmm, I must have not had enough sleep before I posted it. I made for a pretty negative outlook on the region, but it's not *that* bad. Like rccrain said, many people keep their politics and attitudes/outlooks to themselves. I've lived here most of my life and only experienced a few bad situations, mostly having to do with being gay or an atheist. But when people find that out, they either leave me alone or keep their views to themselves and become friendly. There's little open hostility in the region. It's not a cultural war type place, which is quite refreshing, actually. We're very "live and let live" here!
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:24 PM
 
22 posts, read 77,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12buttons View Post
what part of socal are you from? Venice? ORange COunty - apples and oranges right there...
Haha, ya, no kidding I'm actually from San Diego, so we're pretty laid back down here. But not originally, grew up all over the place, but I've lived here long enough to absorb the open-minded attitude, but also long enough to be ready for a little slower pace of life, less traffic, and a smaller, friendlier community to raise our kids.

This is on a bit different note, but when we were there over Memorial Weekend, we drove around downtown JC and everything looked really empty, and almost abandoned. Is this just because it was Sunday, or are businesses moving out of downtown, or what?
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Downtown's been empty for 20-25 years or so. Pretty much your standard downtown emptiness that's affected all cities of mid-size or lower. All of the retail moved to the mall and central JC (and these days it's moving to North JC).

But downtown is experiencing a renaissance (also much like other downtowns). It's currently in the "Bar/restaurant/funky retail" phase, with some loft apartments thrown in the mix. Of course the Hands On! Museum is down there, too, along with some churches.

To be sure, there is more activity on the weekdays, especially between noon and four or five. But I'd imagine that there are many more people/things to do in other areas of the city.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
295 posts, read 667,707 times
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Default Attitude adjustment

I just stumbled on to this forum today and this is one of the areas I can comment on being from Maryland as I have an outsider's perspective from an urban Democrat state which surrounds the politicians, the "Beltway Bandits" as they are called up home. If you are very liberal, more in the "left coast" tradition you may feel a lot more comfortable spending time in Asheville NC, 50 minutes down the road. Always a good protest going on downtown or in the editorial pages along the lines of Iraq, or Global Warming or the government being mean to the trees, bugs and bunnies, etc., lots of 'Bohemian types' and limosine liberals down there. May feel a bit more 'Cali' or New York City down there to you.
NE TN appears to be the conservative third of an otherwise "Blue" state. In spite of the few rebel flags you'll see proudly displayed, historically NE TN and Western NC did not wish to succede the Union acc. to my research. They had no slaves and plantations and in spite of being the Volunteer state didn't see any reason to go fight the plantation owner's war for them but in the end had no choice but to go along with all the states around them. The folks in NE TN were isolated by poor roads and for the longest time, few Railroads, and lived kind of in a vacuum which I think they preferred in some ways until they brought in the railroads to cut down all the trees and remove the iron ore from the mountains. For more on this kind of history there is a very good website called JohnsonDepot or something like that. I do not have the link handy but it can explain the local history nicely, good website.
Being from a northern state where church attendance is pretty low that is a bit different. People I've met around here are Christians and pretty secure in their faith but other than a few "church ladies" I've met don't seem too interested in converting you. Me personally, I find it great as I can go to Home Depot or Lowe's on a Sunday morning and have the store pretty much to myself. The locals seem to be in church or hiding in their homes so their neighbors/relations don't see that they didn't go to church. Being a Godless heathen I find it handy for Sunday morning shopping trips. They say this is the Bible Belt and geographically it's true but there are many more places in the south where it is much more "in your face" in the media and you see the Mega churches. You will have to change your way of speaking if you are from the Northeast and swear a good bit God Damn makes people wince and the F bomb can cause fainting amongst some members of the community. Other than that I'd say folks are not as tolerant of interracial couples but you probably won't have crosses burned on your front lawn and you may not want to drive around with a rainbow sticker on your bumper but it doesn't seem too bad in comparison to other places I've been in the south.
Other than that it's mostly little things you'll notice, TN drivers tailgate you like their all "drafting" at Bristol Motor Speedway and southern drivers in general consider traffic lights more of a suggestion and than a command, sitting for a while after it turns green and then running the red [which is of course why they all sit there for a second or two after it turns green] These little things will be outweighed in my opinion by the other southern behaviors such as their friendliness and almost unnerving [to a northerner] eye contact with you. I have found these folks quick to say hello but reserved to 'let you in' and be careful as folks are easy to offend where northerners are used to people being able to take sarcasm and double meanings where down here folks seem pretty literal and what you may feel is a joke may be taken to heart. Once offended folks here don't forget it either. Still, like I said, subtle differences just go slow with people you meet and you should love it here.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,754,904 times
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I agree with just about all your post (except 2/3 of TN being "blue!" !)

I've heard lots of transplants comment on TN tailgating and eye contact, and it surprises me every time. But I guess it must be true. Traffic regulations are definitely a suggestion here and I always look before proceeding through an intersection, even if I've had the green cycle for 10-15 seconds. Left and right turns seem to mystify even the most solid drivers. And forget fast/slow lane rules, just go however the hell you can get through the traffic.

I also agree that Southern people, as a whole, have an altogether different sense of humour. I'm native to east TN, but somehow I developed a rather sarcastic, some call it caustic, and dry sense of humor. (It may be why I get on so well with people from other places - my best friends live in Toronto.) I really have to be quite careful about what I say and how I phrase things or people will A) not understand or B) think I'm making fun of them. Irony is big here, though, as are general old fashioned jokes. Wordplay is generally not well understood or received. When you find someone that you can share a dirty joke with keep them!!!

I also agree, once again, that I think most NETNers preferred their vacuum-style way of living. And the true old natives still do. You'll be able to spot them (us!) a mile away.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
295 posts, read 667,707 times
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Default sorry, a few more observations

Oh yeah, there is another religion here besides Christianity and that would be UT sports. Folks seem vaguely aware of a football team called the "Titans" but its all about Big Orange.
There is a bit of a sad drug problem in TN in the form of Meth and prescription drug abuse like Lortab but they are fighting it pretty well. If you are from an urban environment somewhere else you'll be use to drug problems just more along the lines of crack and X abuse. Still crime is low compared to most urban areas you may be coming from. It's a shame because there are so many wonderful, cheap, hobbies to get into down here with the mountains and lakes, hiking, mountainbiking, four wheeling and some of the best trout fishing anywhere that it's a pity some folks don't use those more in their spare time.
Old downtown Johnson City is having a bit of hard time getting its re-gentrification going because there is so much land to sprawl out into the country. Asheville is kind of landlocked in a valley so they had to re-invent the downtown but it is happening here and I hope more outside entreprenuers may come to the area and recognise the great potential in the marvelous buildings down there. The "Tree Streets" have been pretty wonderfully restored so i hope it spills into the old town area more.
If any of my observations seem negative don't read too much into it. I'm just sharing some views but overall this is an area ripe for industry and development and I think it will definitely boom in the near future.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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If we go by census prediction, 20% growth in the Johnson City metro by 2020!

(Oh, but btw, I have a Human Rights Campaign equality sticker on my bumper, and have never had any trouble. It's not a rainbow sticker, but...)
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
295 posts, read 667,707 times
Reputation: 173
Default blue state

2/3rds Blue may not be completely accurate, TN has a D governnor but R senators it seems to be the more populated mid section that historcially voted Democrat which is why I said 2/3 and is starting to lean more Republican like the eastern section and the far western tip historically has been. I guess it's a mixed bag at this point but undeniably republican in NE TN I would say.
I say you are pretty safe with your human rights campaign sticker but you may think twice about a pink triangle sticker.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,754,904 times
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Maybe. I rarely venture into Cocke or Unicoi so I think I'm pretty safe here in the urbanist Johnson City.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
295 posts, read 667,707 times
Reputation: 173
Yeah, from what I've explored and heard you should be a bit more cautious out in some of those counties. Still, you should be able to pass through them without incident but I've heard some stories about "not letting the sun set on your [fill in the blank] in some areas.
If we keep this kind of talk up though people may be scared off from moving here [hmmm. some may think that's not a bad thing.]
Seriously, I absolutely love this area since moving here and when i am out cruising around in my convertible or on my motorcycle I feel a tremendous sense of freedom and nature I have rarely experienced elsewhere in the east.
The only other difference I can think of would be zoning and things like trailer homes. Being from snobby Maryland where trailer homes are pretty much illegal and you need some sort of permit to dig a new flower bed or put in a doghouse or cut down a dead tree, I find this area wonderfully liberating. It seems refreshingly American to be able to do what you want on your own property without applying for 12 permits and waiting until there's been three zoning hearings at the courthouse. The downside might be that your neighbor can also do anything they want on their property. But if you want to to live in a snobby, place where everyone's houses look just like yours and there are ordinances and fines about letting your grass grow too long or planting 'other' varieties of flowers in your flowerbeds than what your neighbors have you can move to where I moved from. The cheapest home you will find there starts at 250K and it's a worn out, 30 year old, shoddily built, townhouse and because people can't live in trailers or other homes that they can personally afford then all the people who work on your car, or fix the sewers or put out your house when it catches on fire have to live over an hour away in Pennsylvannia or in West Virginia. [I don't miss that lifestyle one bit myself. It's way too strenuous trying to keep up with the Joneses and you and your wife have to each work two jobs to pay some stranger enough money to raise your kids. They can have it.]
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